Coverage Of 9/11 Anniversary Can Impact Children


(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - With images of terror once again overtaking the airwaves, a new generation of children may be asking questions.

Today's children weren't alive when the 9/11 attacks happened, but seeing the coverage can create the same fears for them. Dr. Taylor Porter, psychiatrist and medical director at Topeka's Stormont-Vail West, says brief but honest answers are the way to approach a child.

Porter says, for children, coverage of the 9/11 anniversary gets to the core issue of safety. He says adults shouldn't give false promises and say it will never happen again, but they also shouldn't suggest it might happen again. He says a simple explanation, such as bad people flew planes into buildings and America is doing everything it can to make sure it won't happen again will suffice. He says adults should take note of how children are reacting and let their questions direct the conversation. He says adults should resist the urge to give too much detail or more than what is asked for.

Older children who do remember 9/11 may also experience emotions of grief or fear. Porter says it's worth a conversation, such as around the dinner table.

Porter also says to keep in mind children who have birthdays on September 11th. He said strive to keep it a day of joy and celebration for them - don't associate it with sadness and tragedy.

631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email:
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